The Government of India, through Instruction No. 113, has taken steps to reduce the compliance burden on SEZ units regarding the submission of SOFTEX forms. The instruction emphasizes the use of digital submissions and eliminates the requirement for physical copies of SOFTEX forms and invoices. This move aims to enhance ease of doing business and streamline the verification process.
SEZ units are currently submitting physical copies of invoices and SOFTEX forms to the office of Development Commissioners (DC) for verification, despite the availability of online filing options. This practice has been identified as a redundant process that adds to the compliance burden. However, in STPI units, the submission of physical copies has already been discontinued. To simplify the process and align with digital practices, SEZ units are now encouraged to submit all documents electronically. In exceptional cases requiring detailed verification, sample copies of relevant invoices may be requested physically with the approval of the DC.
Conclusion: The Ministry of Commerce & Industry’s Instruction No. 113 highlights the government’s commitment to ease of doing business by reducing compliance burdens for SEZ units. By eliminating the need for physical copies of SOFTEX forms and invoices, the verification process becomes more streamlined and efficient. This step aligns with the digital transformation initiatives and promotes a business-friendly environment within SEZs. SEZ units can now focus on their core operations while ensuring compliance through simplified digital submissions.
Instruction No. 113
F. No. K. 43014(15)/2/2017-SEZ
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Department of Commerce
Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi,
Dated the 14th July, 2023
All Development Commissioners of SEZs
Subject: Reducing Compliance Burden regarding SOFTEX Forms -reg.
I am directed to state that SOFTEX is the mechanism of RBI which ensures collection of data on exports for statistical and monitoring purpose. To this end, reference is drawn to RBI Guidelines (copy enclosed) on reporting on foreign exchange transactions through FETERS system by using specific purpose codes based on the nature of transactions.
2. In case of SEZ units, the SOFTEX Form is being submitted online through SEZ-Online portal by the services units and thereafter, based on the approval of the office of Development Commissioners (DC) further submitted to RBI.
3. Instances have come to the notice that SEZ units are submitting the physical copies of invoices and in some cases, even physical copies of SOFTEX forms for verification to DC office despite the same is being filed online digitally. It is also noted that in case of units in STPI, the practice of submitting physical copies of SOFTEX and invoices has been dispensed away.
4. Accordingly, as a measure of enhancing ease of doing business, it has been decided to dispense with the practice of submitting physical copies of SOFTEX and invoices by SEZ units. As such, for the purpose of verification, any document including relevant invoices may be obtained electronically from the units with the approval of DC. In exceptional cases, where there is a need for more detailed verification, DC may permit seeking sample copies of relevant invoices in physical mode, on a case-to-case basis.
5. This issues with the approval of the competent authority.
(Sumit Kumar Sachan)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India
Copy for information to:
Sh. Md. Moin Afaque, Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade
EG&TF Division, DGFT(HQ), Vanijya Bhawan.
Download Copy of Instruction